Track & Field

GATLIN'S DOPING BAN REDUCED: Sprinter Justin Gatlin got his doping ban reduced, but not by enough to make him eligible to defend his Olympic 100-meter title this year.

An arbitration panel, in a 53-page ruling released Tuesday, reduced the 25-year-old sprinter's potential eight-year ban to four. With the ban set to expire May 24, 2010, it means Gatlin would be on the sidelines for the Beijing Olympics in August.

Still, the panel left open the possibility of a further reduction.

The three-member panel unanimously ruled Gatlin committed a doping offense when he tested positive for excessive testosterone in April 2006, but the sprinter's first doping offense in 2001 troubled the group.

Gatlin has six months to appeal.


DAVENPORT WINS AGAIN: Lindsay Davenport improved to 15-1 in singles since her return to tournament play, beating fifth-seeded Annabel Medina Garrigues 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 on Wednesday in the second round of the ASB Classic at Auckland, New Zealand.

Davenport has won two tournaments and reached the semifinals of another since returning after the birth of her first child.

NADAL ADVANCES, BAGHDATIS FALLS: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal beat Mathieu Montcourt 6-2, 6-4 Tuesday in the first round of the Chennai Open, and second-seeded Marcos Baghdatis lost to Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 in India.

Nadal regretted Baghdatis' early exit.

"His defeat takes something out of the tournament," the Spaniard said.


BOXER LIKELY BRAIN DEAD: A South Korean boxer who lost consciousness after winning his WBO intercontinental flyweight bout last week was likely to be declared brain dead, a hospital official said Wednesday.

Choi Yoi-sam has been in a coma since shortly after winning his fight against Indonesian challenger Heri Amol in Seoul on Dec. 25.